The "Pilot" strapped the weird looking backpack on me. He then put the helmet on my head, tightening a cord here and a belt there. Less than a few minutes back, I was damn sure I was going to do this. Now, looking at this thin, panting young fellow standing in front of me grinning like a jackass, I wasn't so sure!
"Why you grinning like a dumbo?" was what I WANTED to ask. But what came out was "You sure I am going to get back in one piece....... BHAIYYA?" (The 'bhaiyya' in good measure for the required emotional blackmail, so that the guy is extra careful with the equipment my life depends on!)
Guess the emotional stuff worked (oh we are good at that aren't we - the timely stated bhaiyyas, uncles,aunties, bhabhis, chechis, chettans, annans etc.) - because he stopped grinning at me, and he explained that he'd been the 'pilot' now for many years. "Bet you were flying when you were in diapers" I muttered to myself while hoping he didn't hear.
Then came the instructions. "Whatever you do, don't sit. Run fast, and don't let the wind make you sit. When you get pulled back, you pull the opposite direction. And DON'T FALL." (You moron! You really think that last part required to be stated?) Just before he started running behind me, he remembered one more little thing -"Oh Madam, when we are about to land, keep your legs up, otherwise you can even fracture them!" (Wow! Informative guy! NOW he remembers to tell me!)
And we ran... Rather, he ran, and I bumbled along, remembering not to fall. Till the last few feet before the end of the hill. "This is bloody suicide," was the last thought that crossed my numbed mind before my buckling knees floated and my feet left the reassurance of the ground. The very next moment, I was lifted off the ground, the wiry young mountain lad laughing at my war cry (Actually, more like high-pitched-hysterical-woman-shriek). I had done it!
Bungee Jumping ...... here I come!!